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Rapids rally to clip Canadians in shootout

CHELMSFORD, Ont. – The French River Rapids rallied from a three-goal deficit and rode a 50-save performance from Carson Murison to come back and defeat the Rayside-Balfour Canadians 4-3, in a shootout, in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action Thursday night at Chelmsford Arena.

First period play saw Rayside-Balfour collect the lone marker of the session as Kyle Liinamaa notched his 16th tally of the campaign, which came at 7:46.

The Canadians then went up by a pair five and a half minutes into the middle stanza as Matthew Dokis-Dupuis picked up his 14th in this his rookie season in the NOJHL.

Zachary Hauseman put the home side further ahead at 14:11 as he finished off the work of Alexander Fowke and Brett McGlade.

Going to the power play late in the second, French River got on the board at 17:06 when Hunter Brazier tallied for the 21st time in 2018-19 with assists going to Max McCue, who registered his first point in the league, and Cameron Conover.

The Rapids then drew closer at 15:19 of the third when Will Frustaglio potted his club’s second man advantage effort of the evening with help from Carter Brown and Philippe Daoust.

Brazier then forced extra time with 1:28 remaining in regulation to keep French River going.

In OT, Rayside-Balfour pressured French River to pull out the win, outshooting them by a 10-1 count, but they could not solve Rapids netminder Murison, so it went to the shootout to decide a winner.

There, Brazier scored once more while Murison thwarted all three attempts the Canadians had to complete the comeback and help French River hit the win column.

The Rapids netminder was flawless the back half of the contest, stopping all 18 shots he faced in the third, 10 more in OT and the trio of saves in the shootout to record the victory.

Rayside-Balfour goalkeeper David Bowen faced 33 attempts in the setback, with his club picking up a point in defeat.